Anonymous vs GoDaddy: Social Media As Social Engineering

When GoDaddy’s services went down last week there was instantly speculation that Anonymous had something to do with it. The fact that the group has been responsible for a number of high profile hacks leads many to think that any hack or data breach has something to do with the group. When GoDaddy’s services went down and an Anonymous member claimed responsibility many in the press didn’t even blink and accepted the claim as fact. Even journalists who should know better to check their facts were citing Anonymous claims as fact, or at least helping to distribute the claims to the masses.

GoDaddy responded a few days after the claim and more importantly after the media frenzy. The truth at this point did not matter, the damage to the GoDaddy’s brand was already done. PR is one of the oldest forms of social engineering be it propaganda, spin or misinformation and this latest example  shows that Anonymous not only has the technical skills, but also an uncanny capacity to shape public opinion which can be an even more powerful tool in their arsenal.